Star Matter and Sunsets 


We say our own names when we pray

We go out for sweets and come back

We are the heroes of this epic

The ones who outsmart the cyclops

But our blood is gold and everyone comes home.


The sky is violet 

And the houses have silver roofs

There are gardens of nebulae and baby galaxies

And we water them with star matter

We cry sunsets for those lost

But they are reborn again

Reborn softer.


Every first Sunday of the month

Our childhoods crash into us in waves

Memories playing in floating bubbles

Rising from the seafoam

The painful ones bursting before

Any soul can see them

We wish to trap them, but they are mortal

Like everything else, even in here


This paradise exists in our mind

Or perhaps it exists somewhere else

Where kisses feel like a summer breeze

And there’s a tint of melancholy in the air

Enough to feel

But not feel too much.


There are an infinite amount of Gods

Or maybe none at all

Maybe we pray for ourselves

And the love we receive and give back

Maybe the air smells like fresh fruit

And the candy is only a dime

And happiness is given and taken for free



What made you write your poem, and how does it relate to your experiences during the pandemic?

I was inspired by Danez Smith’s poem, “summer, somewhere”. I took a couple lines from their poem and used the lines to begin my poem. From there, I built off of it. I wanted to write a poem that represented an ideal world for anyone who wanted an escape from the one we live in right now. One completely removed from this reality, where fantastical things can happen. In a time when we are facing a lot of tragedy and injustice, it’s nice to imagine, in theory, a perfect world.

What do you want people to know about what you’ve endured this year? 

I’ve been very fortunate to have a close family and good friends. The hardest part of quarantine has been adjusting to the isolation that everyone feels, even those living with other people. 

There’s a sense of community that you feel when you’re with others, even strangers, such as when you’re trying to walk through a crowd or wait in line. There’s been a major shift in the way we see crowds. 

I’m in remote learning/virtual school right now, and it’s been really hard on all the students and teachers. We’re sitting in front of a screen for eight hours a day and then we need to do homework on the computer afterward. I’ve found it to be much more draining than in-person school, both mentally and emotionally. 

However, I’ve been able to reconnect with friends from different high schools online. Although we are living in isolated times, I’ve been lucky to still be social.

How has writing helped you this year?

Writing has helped me ground myself and analyze how I’ve been feeling. I’ve been able to express my emotions in ways that I didn’t before. I’ve also enjoyed being more creative and using fun ways to describe certain imagery! It’s also been a good way to connect to other creative friends and share poetry with each other. I hope to write more this year and in the future!

What do you hope a post-COVID world will look like? 

There won’t be a “going back to normal” because so much has changed. My hope is that a vaccine will allow us to return to school, work, and our friends and family. I hope that we’re able to go to concerts and big gatherings, safely, again.

Princess McDowell is a poet, writer and journalist from Dallas, Texas, and Rebellious Magazine's Special Projects Editor. She's also a cohost of the Feminist Erotica Podcast. As a writer-in-rebellion,...